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Instagram’s Story Reels & How The Algorithm Works

Everyone loves Instagram, but not everyone knows how their latest reel feature and the algorithm work. In this article, we’ll take a look at Instagram’s explanation about how their algorithm and also the story reel
recommendation.

Reels are being pushed as Instagram’s next best feature as it keeps it in tune with all the top social media sites. The Reel feature is very similar to Tik Tok.

Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri said on record that he wants to go all the way with video, making an effort to compete directly with Tik Tok, and is going to continue investing in reels and keeping its users in the loop about new features and changes.

If you’re using reels as a part of your marketing strategy, it would be good to get in the trend and find out what kind of reels Instagram regards as successful.

How Reels Are Recommended By Instagram For Its Users:

The goal here is not only to keep users entertained by enjoyment but to show them content that they’re likely to engage with by liking, leaving a comment, etc.

Instagram’s algorithm determines which content to present to users by the following:

  • How likely an individual is to watch the reel completely until the end.
  • How likely they are to ‘like’ that specific reel.
  • How likely they are to leave a comment saying it was entertaining or even funny.
  • How likely they are to go to the audio page and create their own reel.

If you’re not familiar with Instagram Reels or Tik Tok, that last bullet would probably be a little confusing. On both those social media sites, you’re able to take the audio from someone’s video and create your own with it. (The lip-syncing to audio is fantastic!)

On some audios, there’s a catch. If the user has the feature disabled, you’ll be unable to use that specific sound on their video. There’s an audio page for each reel where users can grab the sound and make their own video using the sound.

If you create a reel with audio that gets shared a lot, you’re sure to get far with the algorithm, but what’s more important, having the algorithm love you, or likes and view count? It’s a tough decision to make.

 

Reels Algorithm Signals That Are Most Important

The most important signal according to Instagram is user activity, especially when it comes to suggesting or recommending reels. The algorithm considers your past engagements with reels and if you’ve had any direct engagement with the creator’s profile.

What this means is that if you engage (respond to comments, like, DM, etc.) with Instagram user’s profiles and reels your content will show up in their feed more often.

What happens next is Instagram will look at the video content itself as well as the creator’s profile, gathering information.

The following signals are most important for the reels algorithm, and it’s in order of importance.

  • Activity: This includes recent activity, engagement with reels, and content creator interaction.
  • Reel information: How popular it is, what audio was used, and what it’s about. The understanding of the reel itself.
  • The creator information: Who are they? How do other users interact with their profile, etc?

Content That Instagram Doesn’t Recommend On Using

There are many types of content that Instagram doesn’t advise on using no matter how popular the creator is or how many users engage with their content.

When using a reel and any of the following is wrong with it, Instagram won’t recommend using it.

  • If the resolution of the video is low or it has a watermark on it.
  • If the video has any content concerning political views.
  • If the video was created by political or government figures.

If you want to move ahead with Instagram reels, It’s recommended that you use high-quality and original content. If the content is watermarked or recycled from somewhere, it won’t be getting in user feeds, unless the user directly follows the creator.

Last but not least, keep your content friendly, light, and suitable for all audiences. With reels there isn’t a specific target audience, it’s about original content that people can relate to in terms of either entertainment or neutral events.